Everyone suffers when our streets and credit cards aren’t safe

Our bank called us last Monday to ask about purchases that didn’t look right to their fraud division. They described the suspicious charges and sure enough these were not our purchases — $402.00 for groceries at a chain supermarket and $19.36 at a fast food outlet. We’ve never spent that much money at a chain supermarket. We shop at health food stores and farmer’s markets. We don’t eat at fast food outlets (okay maybe the occasional In&Out Burger.)

My heart started to ache. Of course I didn’t like it that people had stolen our credit card info, but come on, these people were buying food…they were trying to survive. I found myself near tears then as I realized this and I’m tearing up again as I write now. These people weren’t buying jewelry, electronics, or grown up toys…they were trying to feed themselves.

Earlier that very day I’d read David Brook’s column The Great Divorce. In it he describes how the chasm between the haves and have nots in our great country is getting wider and deeper.

I don’t claim to have any political or economic answers here, but I do have a guiding principle. I believe we need to realize we are all in this together. What if we start making cooperation and sharing as important to our way of life as competition and owning ? If we end up living behind walls in guarded communities to keep people from stealing our things for food, we are in deep doo doo. Everyone suffers when our streets and credit cards aren’t safe. Whatever it takes, let’s find a way to work together, play together and pray together to make sure everyone partakes of the American dream.

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